By Gerald Sorokin
(EJNews) – Talmud Torah School has been educating Edmonton’s Jewish children for over a century. No other institution serves as broad a cross-section of the Jewish community: we have students from unaffiliated families, members of all the local congregations, Jews by choice, blended families, recent immigrants, fourth-generation Edmontonians. It’s no exaggeration to claim that Talmud Torah is the single most important entity in the Edmonton Jewish community. And it should be the most unifying.
Since the mid-1970s, Talmud Torah has been affiliated with the Edmonton Public School Board. It’s a unique arrangement for a Jewish day school in that the Talmud Torah Society owns the facility and funds components of the program, while EPSB hires the principal and teachers and operates the school. TT families are asked to contribute to the Talmud Torah Society. Because of the EPSB partnership, our tuition fees are lower than those of any comparable community Jewish day school in North America. Direct support from the Jewish Federation of Edmonton helps to underwrite financial aid for families that could not otherwise send their children to TT. Community members, alumni, and other supporters also donate time and money. It’s a genuinely shared enterprise.
The good news? We have lots of stakeholders who care deeply about the academic and fiscal performance of Talmud Torah.
The bad news? We have lots of stakeholders…
Seriously, success at Talmud Torah is beneficial to the entire Edmonton Jewish community. When our Grade 1 students display their accomplishments at the Siddur Ceremony, we know that these kids will be comfortable participating in Jewish activities for the rest of their lives. When our youngest alumni graduate at the top of their classes at JP and Rosh Shep, it reflects the solid academic foundation and work habits they built at TT. When our slightly older alumni choose to send their own children to the Early Learning Centre and the elementary school, that reinforces their commitment to Jewish literacy and community involvement. In short, there is no substitute for the educational experience that a community day school provides.
As Executive Director of the Talmud Torah Society, I invite community members to ask questions, provide input, and volunteer your time. And please consider making a donation directly to the Talmud Torah Society. Whether or not you are the parent or grandparent of a current student, it’s your school. Thanks!
Gerald L. Sorokin is Executive Director of the Talmud Torah Society. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.